200-Million-Year-Old ‘Squid-Like’ Creature Attack Captured in Ancient Fossil

Fossilized Squid Attack

A close-up image showing the damaged head and body of the Dorsetichthys bechei with the arms of the Clarkeiteuthis montefiorei clamped around it. Credit: Malcolm Hart, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association

Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest known example of a squid-like creature attacking its prey, in a fossil dating back almost 200 million years.

The fossil was found on the Jurassic coast of southern England in the 19th century and is currently housed within the collections of the British Geological Survey in Nottingham.

In a new analysis, researchers say it appears to show a creature — which they have identified as Clarkeiteuthis montefiorei — with a herring-like fish (Dorsetichthys bechei) in its jaws.

They say the position of the arms, alongside the body of the fish, suggests this is not a fortuitous quirk of fossilization but that it is recording an actual palaeobiological event.

Squid Attack Fossil

An image showing the full fossil with the body of the squid on the left and its arms, with the trapped fish, to the right. Credit: Malcolm Hart, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association

They also believe it dates from the Sinemurian period (between 190 and 199 million years ago), which would predate any previously recorded similar sample by more than 10 million years.

The research was led by the University of Plymouth, in conjunction with the University of Kansas and Dorset-based company, The Forge Fossils.

It has been accepted for publication in Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association and will also be presented as part of Sharing Geoscience Online, a virtual alternative to the traditional General Assembly held annually by the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Professor Malcolm Hart, Emeritus Professor in Plymouth and the study’s lead author, said: “Since the 19th century, the Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone formations of the Dorset coast have provided large numbers of important body fossils that inform our knowledge of coleoid paleontology. In many of these mudstones, specimens of palaeobiological significance have been found, especially those with the arms and hooks with which the living animals caught their prey.

Jurassic Coast of Southern England

The dramatic coastline near Charmouth in Dorset, UK, has yielded a large number of important fossils. Credit: Lloyd Russell, University of Plymouth

“This, however, is a most unusual if not extraordinary fossil as predation events are only very occasionally found in the geological record. It points to a particularly violent attack which ultimately appears to have caused the death, and subsequent preservation, of both animals.”

In their analysis, the researchers say the fossilized remains indicate a brutal incident in which the head bones of the fish were apparently crushed by its attacker.

They also suggest two potential hypotheses for how the two animals ultimately came to be preserved together for eternity.

Firstly, they suggest that the fish was too large for its attacker or became stuck in its jaws so that the pair — already dead — settled to the seafloor where they were preserved.

Alternatively, the Clarkeiteuthis took its prey to the seafloor in a display of ‘distraction sinking’ to avoid the possibility of being attacked by another predator. However, in doing so it entered waters low in oxygen and suffocated.

16 Comments on "200-Million-Year-Old ‘Squid-Like’ Creature Attack Captured in Ancient Fossil"

  1. Bob Ashmore | May 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    I love you site. I’ll be back. Bob

  2. Can’t wait to see you again Bob. Hurry back.

  3. That crazy beast is actually a dino age skunk called skunkipeeuasaurus…..marius

  4. Bob's Sister | May 7, 2020 at 2:32 am | Reply

    Bob ffs. You’re always getting all the attention from mom.

  5. Zahid iqbal | May 7, 2020 at 5:09 am | Reply

    I am unable to belive

  6. Bob's pants | May 8, 2020 at 12:35 am | Reply

    Bob I have your car keys, and I’m moving to Canada– please stop texting me.

  7. Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)

    NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD! Evolutionary dating (including radiometric dating) is not infallible science, is based on certain built-in assumptions, and has often been proven to be contradictory and inconsistent. Please read my popular Internet article, ARE FOSSILS REALLY MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD? Just google the title followed by my name.

    There’s a lot of evidence that the fossil layers were not deposited by gradual floods, which would have required millions of years. Rather, the evidence strongly points to a one world-wide flood, just as the Bible teaches. This one world-wide flood fossilized species and unleashed tremendous forces that changed the geology and topography of the earth.

    The fossil layers in the real world are not even found in the sequence taught in evolutionary textbooks. There are many places where fossils of complex creatures are found beneath simpler ones, and there are fossils of mixed species existing in the same stratum which classic evolutionary textbooks teach should have been separated by millions of years. Of course a biblical world-wide flood would generally have buried and fossilized marine animals first with amphibians, reptiles and mammals to follow. Evolutionists have interpreted all of this into an evolutionary scenario spanning millions of years.

    There is absolutely no proof of macro-evolution in the fossil record. The fossils of all species are found complete (not partially-evolved) with no evidence of actual transition from one kind to another. There are no fossils of fish, for example, with part fins, part feet to show that transition occurred from fins to feet. Besides this, partially-evolved species would be unfit for survival while waiting to be completed over millions of years.

    ONLY LIMITED EVOLUTION (micro-evolution or evolution within biological “kinds”) is genetically possible (such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not macro-evolution, or evolution across biological “kinds,” (such as from sea sponge to human). All real evolution in nature is simply the expression, over time, of already existing genes or variations of already existing genes. For example, we have breeds of dogs today that we didn’t have a few hundred years ago. The genes for these breeds had always existed in the dog population but never had opportunity before to be expressed. Only limited evolution or adaptation, variations of already existing genes and traits, is possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.

    NEW SPECIES: Although new species can come into existence, they don’t carry any new genes. They’ve become new species only because they can’t be crossed back with the original parent stock for various biological reasons. A biological “kind” allows for new species but not new genes. Nature has no ability to invent new genes for new traits. Only limited variations and adaptations are possible in nature, and all strictly within a biological “kind” (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.).

    THE FEW “INTERMEDIATE” (SO-CALLED TRANSITIONAL LINKS) IN FOSSILS claimed by evolutionists are highly disputed, even among the evolutionists. If macro-evolution really occurred there should be billions of indisputable intermediate fossils, not a few disputable ones. There’s not one example of a so-called transitional link that all evolutionists can agree on, not one.

    What about the duck-billed platypus? It has traits belonging to both birds and mammals, but even evolutionists don’t argue that it’s a transitional link between birds and mammals.

    Some evolutionists use similarities of traits between species as an argument for transitional forms. This is not a good argument because the traits they cite are complete, fully-formed, and fully functional, not in any true process of transition from one type of structure into another.

    Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related!

    What about natural selection? Natural selection can only “select” from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. It doesn’t produce genes or biological traits. That’s why it’s called natural “selection.”

    Many people have wrong ideas of how evolution is supposed to work. Physical traits and characteristics are determined and passed on by genes — not by what happens to our body parts. For example, if a woman were to lose her finger this wouldn’t affect how many fingers her baby will have. Changing the color and texture of your hair will not affect the color and texture of your children’s hair. So, even if an ape’s muscles and bones changed so that it could walk upright it still would not be able to pass on this trait to its offspring. Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells (i.e. sperm and egg) can be passed on to offspring.

    What about the new science of epigenetics? Epigenetics involves inheritable factors which can turn genes on, but epigenetics doesn’t alter the DNA code itself.

    Modern evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly, millions of years, random mutations in the genetic code of reproductive cells caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes for natural selection to use. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. It’s much like believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy! That’s the kind of blind faith macro-evolutionists have.

    Mutations are accidents in the genetic code, are mostly harmful, and have no capability of producing greater complexity in the code. Even if a good accident occurred, for every good one there would be hundreds of harmful ones with the net result, over time, being harmful, even lethal, to the species. At best, mutations only produce further variations within a natural species. Even so, mutations are not the best explanation for variations within a natural species.

    How could species have survived if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start would be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival. For example, “if a leg of a reptile were to evolve (over supposedly millions of years) into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing” (Dr. Walt Brown, scientist and creationist) Survival of the fittest actually would have prevented macro-evolution (evolution across biological kinds!)

    All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not non-human and human.

    The fossils show that all life came into existence as complete and fully-formed from the beginning, which is only possible by creation.

    Visit the author’s latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory).

    Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East.”

  8. Jason Wall | May 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Reply

    Lol. Babu, You’re so close to admitting that evolution happens, but you can’t reconcile what the rocks say versus what your Book says.

    Any variation in a species that confers an advantage will help that gene propagate itself in future generations, if it increases a creatures fitness in it’s environment. Creatures that live at different ends of a huge range will have different selection pressures and therefore will select genes differently.

    Give that process enough time and species seperated by enough distance and time become different species. That’s called evolution. It’s not some heretical swipe at God, it’s how species diverge from one another.

    You’re so preoccupied with trying to fit reality to your creation story that you cannot tolerate any facts that might contradict it, and twist whatever facts you come across to fit your narrative.

    But I mean, why do I care? Why do I even feel the need to argue with someone online who’s clearly already got an agenda? Boredom. Also, get this, there was a mutation on a common virus, and now I’m stuck at home arguing with creationists 🤣🤣🤣. That’s irony right there.

    By the way Babu, my kids love your YouTube channel content, Club Baboo. Keep it up.

  9. Bruce Norman Rose | May 8, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Reply

    Bob blows goats!

  10. Wrong, but it is a very nice 200 million year old piece of art work. For starters there are engraving marks on the “claws” and they are placed on a way that will or would spell a word in an ancient language had a single dim light been shown across them correctly.

  11. The global flood is very real and could have done this. Nonetheless its yet more evidence that man was NOT once a single celled organism.

  12. No, the global flood did not do this. And those are not claw marks but most probably preparation marks from an airscribe. Jason, I am a Christian, a geologist, a paleontologist, believe in a 4.5 billion year old earth and have no issues with most of macroevolutionary theory. Yes there are a few of us out here, just saying!

  13. Dorothy Kirkconnell | May 10, 2020 at 12:11 am | Reply

    Love your information! Thank you!

  14. Jason, your comment is priceless!!!! You are stuck at home because of a mutated virus!!!! LMAO!!!!!! Perfect response.

  15. There are some crazy people out there😂😂😂😂😂😂😂believe fossils are not millions of year old but was some flood few years ago 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂people like that how we got the potus goof we have now

  16. Wow, Trying to discredit finding of fossils age is closed minded. Reading some comments where people still think to justify their beliefs in a determined/ controled mind set. Some are not open minded enough to accept reasonable and well researched theories outside a cult/ religion.
    Our planet has been thru several ice-ages, probably several global floodings and multiple pole changes too.
    Consider oil, how was made and where came from ? It is now under ground and under ocean bottoms.
    Come on, connect some synapses out side that wall of some religious book.

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